A Florida school district in Sarasota County overhauled its COVID-19 mask exemption policy after hundreds of people lined up for hours outside a local chiropractic clinic seeking a medical exemption for their children in response to the district’s mask mandate.
The families lined up outside Twin Palms Chiropractic in Venice on Monday — the same day that the mask mandate in Sarasota County schools went into effect.
Some people claimed that Twin Palms was handing out exemptions too easily. Paulina Testermen, a parent who went to the clinic, told WFLA, “We were in and out, came in, signed a clipboard and handed a sheet.”
“Nobody asked to see our children. The forms were pre-signed, there was a stack behind the claims they’re seeing online.”
Kelsey Whealy, a spokesperson for Sarasota County Schools, told Fox News that the district has since updated its medical exemption requirements.
“The School Board’s emergency face mask policy mandates that students and employees wear face masks unless they meet certain exceptions or qualify for legally required accommodations,” Whealy said.
The district is now only accepting mask medical exemptions from medical doctors, osteopathic physicians or advanced nurse practitioners.
Bryan Kessler, an attorney for the clinic’s lead chiropractor, Dr. Dan Busch, told Fox News that the school policy’s update was “concerning.”
“There is also concern over the school board unilaterally changing its policy to no longer allow a licensed chiropractic physician to grant an exemption from the mask mandate when state law specifically permits a licensed chiropractic physician to ‘examine, analyze and diagnose the human living body and its diseases.’”
Kessler also denied the notion that Busch’s clinic was freely handing out exemptions without properly vetting the patients.
“Dr. Busch has an established policy at Twin Palms Chiropractic of meeting personally with a student and parent and/or legal guardian to determine whether a medical condition within the scope of practice as a licensed chiropractor exists which warrants the granting of a mask exemption under the guidelines established by the Sarasota County School Board,” Kessler said.